Jun E’s comment “All-Blogs must NOT go to Ijok” , in reply to my most controversial post”All-Blogs must go to Ijok“, deserves my reply.

Firstly, let me explain my headline, before my detractors pretend not to understand and incite bitter war of words again to a plainly innocent suggestion. By saying “the road to hell is paved with good intentions“, I am saying that “merely intending to do good, without actually doing it, is of no value”. I am NOT saying that All-blogs are on the road to hell!

Now I have some comments and questions for you Jun E (your points in italics):

1.  Noone seems to care about what I see as the bigger picture, i.e. the future of All-Blogs to be able to unite all bloggers, to educate and to engage the government about blogging.

How do you intend to unite bloggers? The main reason why Bloggers United and then All-Blogs came about was when bloggers finally made a stand against the NST, when the newspapers and four others, decided to sue Rocky and Jeff.  That was why hundreds, no 300 hundred or so bloggers rallied behind us, using Sheih’s logo, and together with us made a stand, in solidarity with our two brothers.

Have we now forgotten our beginning? Are we turning the movement away from its original intentions and stand, that we shall not tolerate any bullying tactics by big institutions and authority on any of us? And how do you intend to educate and engage the government without making a stand in the first place? The government does not need a training class or a module on blogging. It needs, instead, to know that bloggers are serious about their freedom to blog and will not be bullied or cowed into silence just because there are laws to curb freedom of speech.

2. All-Blogs has to undergo an image revamp. It is important from several levels, to engage more people to blog, and to calm the government down, convince them that we are not here to topple it, but to help it improve our beloved country.

What image revamp? How does All-Blogs intend to do this? You may actually need a PR consultancy for this, at the rate All-Blogs are going. What All-Blogs need to be is clear and strong and unwavering in its stand and motives so that it gains some respects not only from all bloggers, but potential bloggers and finally the government.

People would be engaged to blog when they are ensured that there would be more freedom, more space and more opportunities to speak their minds and not the other way around. I am afraid, your image revamp suggestion may only lead to the Opposite, that bloggers see that not only the government are after their freedom, even All-Blogs, which they hope to represent and protect their interests are coming up with all sorts of restrictions, rule and regulations, procedures. At this rate, tell me, who wants to blog?

And ‘calm the government down?” – now why should we have to do that? If this is the pathway All-blogs want to take, then like Crankshaft says, it is being more political than ever. A government is toppled by its own injustices, corrupt practices and by years of deceiving and eating into people’s pockets, definitely it can’t be toppled by All-blogs at all, who has, as its membership, or as they claim, bloggers with all kinds of political affiliations, and who are impartial.

Of course, by saying there is no need to calm the government, I am not at all suggesting a militant approach. Let’s say, we don’t have to do what we don’t need to do okay? Unless, we are trying to suck up to someone.

4. We have to be neutral (and perceived so), and change has to come graduall.

Dear Jun E, what is it like to be neutral? I don’t believe anyone can stand and claim themselves to be neutral when there are injustices all around us. Anyone who claims to be so must be completely heartless or dead (sorry, I do not know how to say this politely). And through history, we can judge that it is always those who claim to be neutral, who allows dictatorships to persist, because they (the former) has much self-interest to protect. But remember what they also say: when everyone has been taken away (for example, the communists, the catholics, the student activists, etc…there would be no one left to speak for us). One can only be professional, but never neutral (towards injustices, not party politics).

5. Strategically speaking, it is suicide, for All-Blogs to “campaign”, during the clash of the titans. To be there, to be waving the (not yet existent) flag of All-Blogs, will just increase the government’s apparent paranoia towards bloggers.

What are the reasons for the “government’s apparent paranoia towards bloggers”? Because bloggers, pro-government or otherwise, have been increasing vocal about their dissatisfaction of government policies. The paranoia also comes from the various scandals being exposed by bloggers. So, its All-blogs going to propose that we slow down on all these approaches – less criticisms of government policies, less expose of scandals involving government ministers – in order to “lessen” the government paranoia towards bloggers?

If this is the approach All-Blogs want to take, I am afraid it has been co-opted by BN/Umno elements. This is not blind assumption, but a natural state of thought, if the answer to my question above is “yes”.

6. You have suggested several scenarios, let me tell you what I think of each of them:

(a) Govt becomes even more paranoid and (futile) blogger registration exercises are expedited.

Which means, All-Blogs will act demure and sweet, closing one eye to injustices or the need to campaign for free speech, so as not to incur the paranoia of the government because it wants to be registered under the ROS (registrar of societies)?

(b) Govt laughs at bloggers. With the full capacity of RM36mil behind Ijok. Govt laughs hard.

 Let them laugh, why are we afraid? Let’s see who has the last laugh.

(c) Opposition makes use of All-Blogs for their political speeches. All-Blogs sinks deeper into its anti-establishment image and loses whatsoever hope it has left of being a neutral entity, able to educate govt about what blogs are, and engage govt for healthy dialogue.

It’s a pity that campaigning for free speech (or any human rights) issue is seen as a possible exploitative tool by the Opposition, that it is akin to the Opposition’s agenda. This is exactly what the government wants, for us to be afraid, for us to stay away from campaigning for our rights, because we would be perceived as an Opposition tool?

Just because we are being perceived (conveniently by the government and their proxies) as being used by the Opposition, does not mean we must stop doing what is right.

I would rather maintain what my ex-boss Steven Gan used to say, even during my job interview with him “If the issues we champion (anti-corruption, democracy, free speech, to name a few) are also the issues that the Opposition champions, so be it. We do not support party politics, but it doesn’t mean we are a-political”. For years, Malaysiakini has been accused of being an Opposition agent, but it steadfastly continues to report the truth. That is how it gained the respect of government and opposition alike, not by soft approaches but by being firm and principled!

(d) All-Blogs is ignored. What? We are not as important as we think we are?

Bloggers can only be ignored by the government and its supporters (for obvious reasons), and there is nothing else to lose except that registration with the ROS (which can only mean more control for bloggers). I am willing to take the chance. I am not willing to lose my freedom to blog as I please.

And lastly,

7. The second thing is, All-Blogs should not do anything of this sort without the agreement of the majority of its members, or at this moment, its committee members (which I am not part of =P). The constitution is not even out to state the All-Blogs’ policies towards these issues! I absolutely refuse to be represented by an entity which I do not believe in.

This, I agree totally with Jun E.

There you are my dear. I had my say, and it’s nice to hear what the young think of issues like this. It is refreshing, and yet a bit frightening to me, because its rather conservative thinking. I see no hope of Malaysia ever changing for another 50 years or more.

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27 responses »

  1. wits0 says:

    ” calm the government down”

    Huh? Admission that it’s out of touch with the people? Admission that whenever it mentions “the people”, it’s referring only to die-hard party loyalists and supporters?

  2. monsterball says:

    Yes dear Susan….looking at things…very little hope for change….but we must never give up hope….not for ourselves …but for future generations as long as we have the strength and energy to continue and then at our last try…we can tell ourselves…we have one our best with pride. That’s what living is all about.

  3. monsterball says:

    word ‘one’ should be ‘done’ thanks

  4. Ben says:

    Agree with Susan AND agee with Jun E.
    Lets not change our identity. That is, Blogs / Bloggers.
    The essence of blogging is ‘whats one’s take’ on issues.
    There appears to be a very thin line between a Bloggers’ take and that of a campaigning party, a line thats too thin for comfort. Its difficult to sit on the fence and not be neutral and its even more difficult to be neutral and not sit on the fence.
    “All-Blogs must Not go to Ijok” – physically.
    “All-Blogs Must go to Ijok”- Virtually.

  5. c53k says:

    Well said. Susan!

    Whether one is a PERSON OR AN ORGANIZATION at the end of the day it’s the PRINCIPLES that one envisioned that counts.

    When a VISION is there, one has to take side, the side that favours the vision.

    Your opponents of this vision will do whatever it takes to suppress or talk small of her. Can you take the heat?

    There is NO middle path. Neutrality can only get you NOWHERE. Along this path your opponents only take you as shadow at the end of the days/struggles. A nuisance to be tolerated in time of peace & to be bullied in time of duress.

    Gandhi took side too, even though his path was a non violent one!

    Take sides we must – in order to press for a change, a better tomorrow! MALAYSIA needs her MOMENT now. Not another 50 years!

    The bloggers, of all shapes & size, MUST make the stand.

    As an individual a voice can be easily drowned. As a group you are a formidable shout.

    I ask CAN THE CURRENT MALAYSIAN BLOGGERS be the CONSCIENCE of the nation at this moment.

    Or the blogger united is just a bunch of ‘BOLEHAN’ taking the attitude of if-I-can-do-it-I-will-do it-or-else-I-just-let-it be.

  6. Sheih says:

    Dear Sis,
    Trying so hard not to say anything on the matter but have to now. Cannot tahan. This is presicely why I said in the forum in NPC and you were there. I said we must be prepared to cherish the differences because there is so little consensus within us. I said so because I had experience worst moment and being stab by my very own bloggers friends. Today, they did it to you openly.
    Let me be blunt. All Blogs should go to Ijok and why not? Whats wrong by going to Ijok? Being present in IJOK do not mean we support the opposition. Let me say this and let me make it clearly, A Voice and Big Dog are my friends, but they somewhere always jumpy when they felt things are not according to their agenda. Try to hantam Mahathir and see how they react! Ha ha ha. Try to hantam Sazmi Miah and you see how they react! He he he
    Sadly, they always prefered to chose others blog rather than theirs to clean the dirty lining.
    It is this mentality that going to destroy the unity.
    To be honest with you, I am being bombarded for blogging on what I blog lately. We deserve to be respected for our very own feeling. As much as we respected other voices too. Many people only know how to say this but hell with understanding the true meaning of it.
    You know I left Bloggers United before. It is due to the same thing that happened to you. But you are stronger than me sis. My arty heart is too fragile.
    Sis,
    I rather have then group of two bloggers than hundred bloggers. Two blogger which respected each other space is much stronger than hundred blogger who are united to butcher each other.
    For that, I will stand by you all the time. If it only mean you, Black and me, be it sis.
    A lot of people talks about unity but they do not understand the politics behind it.
    Quality is more precious than quantity.
    Love you always,

    Sheih

  7. susan loone says:

    Sheih, I was really right in awarding you the thinking blogger award. bravo! the world lacks humans like you. i really appreciate your support. i know what you have been through. no worries. i am a strong woman. it takes more than two “anonymous” guys to bring me down. hahaha!

    allow them their freedom of speech and need to criticise. i am happy they cooled down, and i hope now feels more comfortable to comment in my blog, knowing i wont ever censor them, not even edit, their commments. even if it goes against me. unless they talk porn or accuse someone outrightly of murder. hahaha!

    keep blogging my brother. no one can and must take your thoughts away. already i am so proud of you because you can work in a PAS state, continue to be an UMNO man, and still blog. caya lah lu…:-)

    that’s why I say you really treasure human beings and thought me also to cherish relationships. At the end of day, it is the only thing that matters, not wealth, not fame, not even a blog.

    tak care brother. always be yourself!

  8. Anon. Fm Miri says:

    Dear Sis Susan and Bro. Sheih.

    Very, very, very, very true on what both of you had said. People tend to forget the past and always let history to repeat.

    “To handle yourself, use your head. To handle others, use your heart.” … Eleanor Roosevelt.

    Take care sis and bro.

    Adios

  9. v9 says:

    Dear Susan,
    I read your argument and agreed in your view. Have it occured to you that you may be the balancing force in the equation between the bad and the good? You championed against corruption and the Government ‘comes clean’ to deny it. In Malaysia, unfortunately, racial issues will be brought up against you to justice their diabolical claim that you and the rest are racists and liars. The cycles go on and on. And the equation is balanced during every election. Sometimes, to win you must lose first. Why don’t you let the equation tilt all the way to their favor to exposed the traits for being what they truly manifest. Then the rights will stand united with you against corruption. A conservative young generation is good because it builds character and strenght for the major change that will definitely come. Whether they win or lose in Ijok, the balance in Malaysia is going to tilt heavily to either sides. If the question is whether All-Blog should be represented in Ijok or not, and not on the debate of principles and loyalty, why don’t you call for a vote?

  10. susan loone says:

    dear V9;
    i dont think i am in the position to call for a vote lar…
    this is also not a competition
    just a debate
    we become strong by debates and then understanding
    dont care who win who lose
    the important thing is we can talk
    we fight in the beginning then we calm down then we talk then we win
    how about that?

  11. monsterball says:

    Sooooo glad sheih wrote to susan….and what a loving united bloggers these two are. God bless all good hearted bloggers.

  12. wits0 says:

    Susan, do not fall for the fallacy that over-organisation may bring. The manner in which fully organised everyday institutions becomes rather self-serving in varying degree, bureaucratic and loses its original impact is a reality of life.

    Since we’re dealing with opinions, understanding and information wrt what is true and factual, any premature adherence to set rigidity poses a threat to the existent overbearingness of pervasive political correctnes. It’s easy to over-compensate attitude and then rationalized it as “responsibility”. Masochists too perhaps do similar rationbalization.

    Do not therefore let insidiously faddish political correctness claim that right to stifle factual correctness at the very onset.

    We are dealing with ideas(whose time has come)and concepts rather than physical entities. How would excessive rigidity from over-organisation be an advantage as much as being a likely impediment at the root?

    Susan, I think I understand and share your perception. ;)

  13. wits0 says:

    I should say rather, “…poses a threat BY SUCCUMBING to the existent overbearingness of THE ORDER of the pervasive political correctnes.”

  14. monsterball says:

    Sheih has once again confirm he and papa monsterball think alike..especially on Ijok matter that I fully support Susan’s idea…but with my long details how to do it without being labeled as a political movement…but be the conscience ..for ..with. and of the people….putting aside their differences in political differences….if any…and be one for the people. HOW HARD IS THAT?
    Unity of the people of Malaysia is the biggest failure of Barisan National nation building…PURPOSELY!! China and India.. has shown how easy to succeed ..both…1000 times larger than Malaysia.
    So are we going to show those guys how to unite or follow UMNO style to disunite?

  15. wits0 says:

    Heheh, unity of the people would mean the irrelevance of their fascist power hold and selfish philosophy of life.

  16. zewt says:

    ok ok … the last thing we need is dis-unity (is this the right word) amongst us… so ladies… calm it ok?

    Jun-E, i am sure you have your point and so does Susan. hope i dont get shot down for saying this.

  17. susan loone says:

    zewt;
    wrong word
    there is no war here
    just debate
    why people think debate will bring dis-unity?
    i even have no hard feelings towards a voice and big dog who attack me personally
    becz there are loads of good people around :-)
    debate we must!!!

  18. susan loone says:

    V9, you said:

    “Sometimes, to win you must lose first. Why don’t you let the equation tilt all the way to their favor to exposed the traits for being what they truly manifest. Then the rights will stand united with you against corruption”.

    I am not prepared to lose lives as I allow injustice to go on so that I can win at the end. It is not the destination but the journey.

    The balance can’t remain too long, it will tilt anyway when injustices get too much and people start to fight back.

  19. susan loone says:

    wits0, I am aware of “the fallacy that over-organisation may bring”.

    I am keeping myself in check and fighting against it. I found my freedom in blogging, I wont let anyone, ALL-Blogs or Government to take it away from me.

    I’d rather retreat, go my lonely way, than succumb as you say, to the “the existent overbearingness of THE ORDER of the pervasive political correctnes.”

  20. wits0 says:

    Susan : “why people think debate will bring dis-unity?”

    Because they have long unthinkingly and automatically imbibed this dumb superstitious taboo long ingrained into them….thoroughly indoctrinated and brain washed. Mesmerized by hype.

    Also because they subsequently can’t debate and the light of the truth blinds them after long years of sojourn in Darkness with that feel good “drug” of complacency. Such reactioin is expected and even understandable but by no means approveable.

    It’s about false pride and the devious ego. They simply need their accustomed coccoon against truth and reality. And they think themselves so righteous and humane on account of it all.

  21. monsterball says:

    Although USA and Britian are two countries that the governments I despises now…nevertheless they encourage debates…thus they are trully much more open minded than our country.
    Whenever debates are done here..there is always an agenda to favour the government policies. No such debates like ‘Is sacking Lord President by TDM….just or unjust”….’boats ..yatch..manson in Perth…bought by Pak Lah…real or fiction?” and many more issues. Why not let the public speak live at TV on these subjects? You know why? They have programmed so many sensitive malays which they themselves know cannot take it and may cause trouble…thus termed them ‘SENSITIVE ISSUES”…no go.
    A small country like us have so many issues..pointing against the government. They keep mum. Why not put them out to let the public debate about them? That’s why it shows government is afraid of people’s power…and that’s why Susan is trying to encourage us to be more open minded and form the peoples power ….the only way to bring down a corrupted government effectively. We can exercise our power with non violence attitudes..as words do prick the guilty ones as hard as fighting physically…..producing same results.

  22. wits0 says:

    Susan, just volunteering a small caveat to the erroneous usage of “lonely”. Perhaps “aloneness” is more appropriate. All evolved souls find aloneness often more a boon than a poor state to be in. Hahaha.

  23. v9 says:

    Dearest Susan,
    ‘I am not prepared to lose lives as I allow injustice to go on so that I can win at the end. It is not the destination but the journey.’

    This why I admired you as an activist and loathe ‘them’ as politicians. When I wrote as ‘you win’, I do not paint you as a selfish person but rather one of the many unsung heros. We do need heroes. The balance is tilting now due to so many factors beyond comments here. All-Blog is young, going out openly will just tilt the balance back when the Government comes out full force to discredit all of you. Broadband penetration is still poor in rural areas, and the Government can easily turns the tide against All-Blogs using the local media, including TVs. As it is, you probably only have 30:70 supports. Trust young people like June…just wait for the right timing and the ‘destination’.

  24. susan loone says:

    wits0; indeed “aloneness” is the most appropriate word :-)

    v9, thanks for the compliment. yes, perhaps all-blogs is a baby, but not the members. hahaha!

  25. wits0 says:

    It has always been within the knowledge and practice of the wise that the means does not justify the ends. Fanatics and barbarians are those at the other end of the spectrum. The journey is everything.

    Susan, like Cassandra, has spoken. they who have ears, let ‘em be functioning. You can only lead a horse to water.

  26. anonymous says:

    Aiyah Monsterball, China and India are not 1,000 times larger than Malaysia either in term of land size or population. You don’t have to resort to exaggeration to make a point or to make yourself or your argument more believable. Stop being a “drama king”!

  27. Crankshaft says:

    I think it is very easy to slowly slide into non-action when you consider the issue of “calming the government down” and being neutral.

    We Malaysians tend to be very non-confrontational and while in terms of tolerance, that is good, but when it comes to efficiency, we lose out.

    Tone Down Or Not?

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